Alcohol sale vote in Moundridge on Tuesday

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MOUNDRIDGE, Kan. (KAKE) -

"Everybody's like, 'Are you going to vote?'  And I was like, 'Well of course I'm going to vote!'" said Dianne Clark, a Moundridge voter. 

Moundridge voters are headed to the polls this week in a special election to answer one question, should the city allow a liquor store to sell alcohol in town?

It's a vote that could change the view in downtown Moundridge.  Those who live in the small McPherson County town are set to decide whether a former photography shop can become a liquor store, something city ordinances currently prohibit. 

"I think it's going to make a big difference for this community," said Clark, who thinks the plan will help the community grow. "More people will be shopping in town instead of having to go out of town all the time.  I think it's going to help the businesses around here, too." 

As you walk through downtown Moundridge one thing you won't see are any signs advertising the upcoming vote or campaigning for one side or the other.  What you will find are lots of signs showing the ongoing growth in town. 

"It's an opportunity for another business in the community, of course," said Murray McGee, Moundridge Economic Development Director.  "And to fill another building in our downtown area."

Growth is something the city has aggressively and successfully pursued over the last decade. McGee says this isn't the first time someone's asked about opening a liquor store in Moundridge.

"Since I've been here I've had quite a few people approach me about wanting to open a liquor store.  These are the first people that have actually taken all the steps, to go through the process, pass a petition, get the signatures, submit it to the city and then to the county clerk," McGee said.  "So they've done a lot of work to get to this point where now, finally, after all these years, the community gets to decide whether this is something they support or not."

While everyone KAKE News spoke with supported the idea, McGee says there are those with reservations.

"There are individuals that I've spoken with that are opposed to it," McGee said.  "Just on their own personal beliefs or concerns for any negative impact it might have on the community."

"I think they should be allowed to sell alcohol," said Courage De Moss.  "But, I think it could go wrong, especially there's a lot of young high school kids who might want to get their hands on that."

All of which makes the results of Tuesday's vote less than a sure thing.